Changing yourself is a long journey and it never ends. It can be difficult to stay on the path you set out for yourself to become the person you strive to be. The most powerful tool for me is in the morning regimen. I use the time I’ve given myself to step through my the ritual before I think about work or what I have to do that day. I don’t waiver from this commitment. I make and drink my morning protein shake, vitamins and I meditate. I calm my mind and I think about the qualities I want to embody like being calm, confident, kind, wise, and also what I would like to avoid like ego, hubris, or disdain. Ego’s a tough one! So is disdain if you have to interact with someone else’s ego or incompetence, but how I react to it is completely my decision. I always try to fall back on kindness, but it requires constant effort. It’s unlikely that they will change which means I have to work on my own reactions. This is one of the most freeing things in the world if it’s done well.
It’s important to know who you want to be and not want to be. Otherwise how will know what to work on? It’s equally important that you strive to get there. Setting aside time every day to not only calmly reset your mind but to contemplate practical strategies around how to improve. The practice can be as simple as putting in your earphones and listening to a guided mediation in an app (Buddhify, Insight Timer, Headspace, YouTube) or you can dive right in and take a Transcendental Meditation course or you can just breathe and clear your mind for a few minutes. Any of these options help as long as they’re every day.
How does this translate in life? I used to get so angry and frustrated at idiot drivers until a friend once said “if you see someone driving erratically picture your grandmother that’s driving or if they’re driving recklessly that they have something upsetting going on in their life that they can’t focus on driving well.” Of course, we all know some people are just dicks, but even if they are why would I let some d-bag ruin my mood or day just because he is what he is? I’m at the point now where I just laugh and let it go. If they look over to collect their well-deserved middle finger they just see the smile which in itself is satisfying for me, but frustrating to them. Win-win.
Nietzsche wrote about ‘the hero hidden in your soul.’ The person inside you that intrinsically wants to be that great person and that sometimes deep down you know you want to be. The hero whispers to you that you can be.
- Do you want to be more confident, kind, strong, clever, a great parent, friend, sibling?
- Do you want to be less of a jerk sometimes? I know I do!
- Do you want to keep your ego in check?
It’s important to listen and give him/her that devoted time every day to remind you. To develop practical applications of who you want to be in your daily life. To be that hero. If you had the choice would you be that person? What’s stopping you? Start that daily practice. Dedicate that time for yourself and ultimately everyone around you. Be great!
This post was previously published on Medium.
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